November 29, 2022 | Operations, Aviation, Dispatches, Our Team

Record Mission

An Illustrated map showing the locations the STARS flight crew flew on their record mission

STARS set a record in Fall 2022 for the farthest mission flown in its nearly 40-year history.

Captain Mike Allard, co-captain Mark Vansickle, flight paramedic Brent McDonald, and flight nurse David Vultaggio from the Grande Prairie base travelled a remarkable 1,763-km return trip (952 nautical miles) to care for a patient.

“If you were to fly the total distance of this mission in a straight line, it is almost like flying from Calgary to Los Angeles,” said Grande Prairie aviation base manager Thierry Breuls de Tiecken.

While an average mission distance is typically 257 km (139 nautical miles), the Chee House mission stood out as a historical moment for STARS at eight hours and 12 minutes. The crew was dispatched to a scene call near Chee House, BC. From there, it made its way to Watson Lake, Yukon to refuel before making the trip back home to Alberta.

“Our goal is to provide critical care to patients anywhere, and the crew did that night,” said Breuls de Tiecken.

“Someone needed our help, and luckily the weather allowed them to fly such a long trip to care for a patient in need.”

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